Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. It is found in animals as well as humans. There are many different types of cancer that are found in animals, symptoms are often similar to those in people (eg. abnormal swelling, unexplained weight loss, lethargy / reluctance to exercise etc). Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in companion animals such as dogs and cats, it is particularly common in animals that live 10 years or longer. If treatment is appropriate this may include chemotherapy and surgery or radiotherapy.
Fukumoto S, Hanazono K, Fu DR, et al. A new treatment for human malignant melanoma targeting L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1): a pilot study in a canine model. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013; 439(1):103-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1), an isoform of amino acid transport system L, transports branched or aromatic amino acids essential for fundamental cellular activities such as cellular growth, proliferation and maintenance. This amino acid transporter recently has received attention because of its preferential and up-regulated expression in a variety of human tumors in contrast to its limited distribution and low-level expression in normal tissues. In this study, we explored the feasibility of using LAT1 inhibitor as a new therapeutic agent for human malignant melanomas (MM) using canine spontaneous MM as a model for human MM. A comparative study of LAT expression was performed in 48 normal tissues, 25MM tissues and five cell lines established from MM. The study observed LAT1 mRNA levels from MM tissues and cell lines that were significantly (P<0.01) higher than in normal tissues. Additionally, MM with distant metastasis showed a higher expression than those without distant metastasis. Functional analysis of LAT1 was performed on one of the five cell lines, CMeC-1. [(3)H]l-Leucine uptake and cellular growth activities in CMeC-1 were inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by selective LAT1 inhibitors (2-amino-2-norbornane-carboxylic acid, BCH and melphalan, LPM). Inhibitory growth activities of various conventional anti-cancer drugs, including carboplatin, cyclophosphamide, dacarbazine, doxorubicin, mitoxantrone, nimustine, vinblastine and vincristine, were significantly (P<0.05) enhanced by combination use with BCH or LPM. These findings suggest that LAT1 could be a new therapeutic target for MM.
The domestic dog is a robust model for studying the genetics of complex disease susceptibility. The strategies used to develop and propagate modern breeds have resulted in an elevated risk for specific diseases in particular breeds. One example is that of Standard Poodles (STPOs), who have increased risk for squamous cell carcinoma of the digit (SCCD), a locally aggressive cancer that causes lytic bone lesions, sometimes with multiple toe recurrence. However, only STPOs of dark coat color are at high risk; light colored STPOs are almost entirely unaffected, suggesting that interactions between multiple pathways are necessary for oncogenesis. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on STPOs, comparing 31 SCCD cases to 34 unrelated black STPO controls. The peak SNP on canine chromosome 15 was statistically significant at the genome-wide level (P(raw) = 1.60 × 10(-7); P(genome) = 0.0066). Additional mapping resolved the region to the KIT Ligand (KITLG) locus. Comparison of STPO cases to other at-risk breeds narrowed the locus to a 144.9-Kb region. Haplotype mapping among 84 STPO cases identified a minimal region of 28.3 Kb. A copy number variant (CNV) containing predicted enhancer elements was found to be strongly associated with SCCD in STPOs (P = 1.72 × 10(-8)). Light colored STPOs carry the CNV risk alleles at the same frequency as black STPOs, but are not susceptible to SCCD. A GWAS comparing 24 black and 24 light colored STPOs highlighted only the MC1R locus as significantly different between the two datasets, suggesting that a compensatory mutation within the MC1R locus likely protects light colored STPOs from disease. Our findings highlight a role for KITLG in SCCD susceptibility, as well as demonstrate that interactions between the KITLG and MC1R loci are potentially required for SCCD oncogenesis. These findings highlight how studies of breed-limited diseases are useful for disentangling multigene disorders.
BACKGROUND: Hormonal treatment might affect the immune response to tumor antigens induced in cancer patients who are being vaccinated. CASE PRESENTATION: A 33-year-old woman was diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma in May 2009. Her melanoma was located in the intermammary sulcus, had a Breslow thickness of 4 mm, a Clark's level IV, it was ulcerated and highly melanotic. The bilateral sentinel node biopsy was negative. She entered into a randomized Phase II/III clinical study comparing a vaccine composed of irradiated melanoma cells plus BCG plus GM-CSF versus IFN-alpha 2b and she was assigned to the vaccine arm. During the two years treatment she remained disease-free; the final CAT scan being performed in August 2011. Between November and December 2011, her gynecologist treated her with three cycles of 200 mg progesterone/day for ten days, every two weeks, for ovary dysfunction. In November 2011 the patient returned to the Hospital for clinical and imaging evaluation and no evidence of disease was found. At the next visit in March 2012 an ultrasound revealed multiple, large metastases in the liver. A CAT scan confirmed the presence of liver, adrenal glands and spleen metastases. A needle biopsy of a liver lesion revealed metastatic melanoma of similar characteristics to the original tumor. We suggest that progesterone treatment triggered proliferation of so far dormant micrometastases that were controlled during CSF470 vaccine treatment. CONCLUSION: The use of progesterone in patients with melanoma that are under immunological treatments should be carefully considered, since progesterone could modify the balance of pro-inflammatory and Th1 functions to a regulatory and anti-inflammatory profile of the immune system that could have an impact in tumor progression.
Miyata Y, Kanda S, Sakai H, Greer PA Feline sarcoma-related protein expression correlates with malignant aggressiveness and poor prognosis in renal cell carcinoma. Cancer Sci. 2013; 104(6):681-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Feline sarcoma-related protein (Fer) is a ubiquitously expressed non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase associated with proliferation in various cancer cells. However, no reports have described the pathological roles and prognostic value of Fer expression in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We investigated Fer expression in three RCC cell lines (ACHN, Caki-1, and Caki-2) and in normal tubule cells (HK-2) by immunoblotting. Fer expression was highest in ACHN cells, with Caki-1 showing intermediate levels and Caki-2 showing low levels, and was undetectable in HK-2. RNA interference was therefore used to assess the effects of Fer knockdown in ACHN. Knockdown of Fer expression was found to inhibit RCC cell proliferation and colony formation. Immunohistochemical analysis of 131 human RCC tissues (110 conventional, 11 chromophobe, and 10 papillary) investigated relationships between Fer expression and clinicopathological features, including cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, and prognostic value for survival. In human tissues, Fer expression was significantly higher in cancer cells than in normal tubules. In addition, expression levels correlated with cancer cell proliferation, but not with apoptosis. Multivariate analysis indicated associations of Fer expression with pT stage, tumor grade, and metastasis (P < 0.001). Fer expression was also prognostic for cause-specific survival according to multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 3.89; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-14.84, P = 0.047). Fer expression correlates with RCC cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo, and with tumor progression and survival. This represents useful information for discussing the pathological and clinical significance of Fer in RCC.
Chiu HC, Chow KC, Fan YH, et al. Expression of EBV-encoded oncogenes and EBV-like virions in multiple canine tumors. Vet Microbiol. 2013; 163(1-2):79-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human oncovirus. Previous studies by us and others have indicated that pet dogs frequently encounter EBV or EBV-related viral infection. In this study, we explored whether EBV is involved in canine malignancies in dogs. EBV-specific BamHI W sequence was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 10 of 12 canine tumor specimens, including 8 of 10 oral tumors. Using reverse transcription-PCR, gene expressions of latent membrane protein 1 (LMP 1) and BamHI H rightward reading frame 1 (BHRF1) were identified in 8 and 7 of 12 specimens, respectively. A novel LMP1 variant, T0905, was predominant in 5 canine tumor specimens and found to exist in EBV positive human BC-2 cells. Another LMP1 variant, T0902, was similar to human tumor variant JB7. The BHRF1 sequence identified from these canine tumors was identical to that of the B95-8 viral strain. LMP1 protein and EBV-encoded RNA (EBER) were detected by immunohistochemistry and fluorescent in situ hybridization, respectively, in several tumors, particularly in tumor nests of oral amelanotic melanomas. Furthermore, EBV-like virions adopting a herpesvirus egress pathway were detected in a canthal fibroblastic osteosarcoma and an oral amelanotic melanoma. In conclusion, we report the expressions of BHRF1 transcript (a viral anti-apoptotic protein), LMP1 (a viral oncoprotein) transcript and protein, EBER (a viral oncogenic RNA), and EBV-like virions in multiple canine tumors. The identity of BHRF1 and the resemblance of LMP1 variants between canine and human tumors indicate either a close evolutionary relationship between canine and human EBV, or the possibility of zoonotic transmission.
Giantin M, Aresu L, Aricò A, et al. Evaluation of tyrosine-kinase receptor c-KIT (c-KIT) mutations, mRNA and protein expression in canine leukemia: might c-KIT represent a therapeutic target? Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2013; 152(3-4):325-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tyrosine-kinase receptor c-KIT (c-KIT) plays an important role in proliferation, survival and differentiation of progenitor cells in normal hematopoietic cells. In human hematological malignancies, c-KIT is mostly expressed by progenitor cell neoplasia and seldom by those involving mature cells. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are actually licensed for the first- and second-line treatment of human hematologic disorders. Aim of the present study was to evaluate c-KIT mRNA and protein expression and complementary DNA (cDNA) mutations in canine leukemia. Eleven acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute undifferentiated leukemia (AUL) and 12 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) were enrolled in this study. The amounts of c-KIT mRNA and protein were determined, in peripheral blood samples, by using quantitative real time RT-PCR, flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry, respectively. The presence of mutations on c-KIT exons 8-11 and 17 were investigated by cDNA sequencing. Higher amounts of c-KIT mRNA were found in ALL/AUL compared to CLL, and this latter showed a lower pattern of gene expression. Transcriptional data were confirmed at the protein level. No significant gain-of-function mutations were ever observed in both ALL/AUL and CLL. Among canine hematological malignancies, ALL/AUL typically show a very aggressive biological behavior, partly being attributable to the lack of efficacious therapeutic options. The high level of c-KIT expression found in canine ALL/AUL might represent the rationale for using TKIs in future clinical trials.
Schmidt S, Fracasso G, Colombatti M, Naim HY Cloning and characterization of canine prostate-specific membrane antigen. Prostate. 2013; 73(6):642-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a promising biomarker in the diagnosis of prostate cancer and a potential target for antibody-based therapeutic strategies. We isolated the canine PSMA cDNA and investigated the cellular and biochemical characteristics of the recombinant protein as a potential target for animal preclinical studies of antibody based-therapies. METHODS: Canine PSMA cDNA was isolated by PCR, cloned into expression vectors and transfected into COS-1 and MDCK cells. The biosynthesis and glycosylation of the recombinant protein were investigated in pulse-chase experiments, the cellular localization by confocal laser microscopy, the mode of association of PSMA with the membrane with solubilization in different detergents and its quaternary structure in sucrose-density gradients. RESULTS: Canine PSMA shows 91% amino acid homology to human PSMA, whereby the major difference is a longer cytoplasmic tail of canine PSMA compared to its human counterpart. Canine PSMA is trafficked efficiently along the secretory pathway, undergoes homodimerization when it acquires complex glycosylated mature form. It associates with detergent-resistant membranes, which act as platforms along its intracellular trafficking. Confocal analysis revealed canine PSMA at the cell surface, Golgi, and the endoplasmic reticulum. A similar distribution is revealed for human PSMA, yet with reduced cell surface levels. CONCLUSIONS: The cloning, expression, biosynthesis, processing and localization of canine PSMA in mammalian cells is described. We demonstrate that canine PSMA reveals similar characteristics to human PSMA rendering this protein useful as a translational model for investigations of prostate cancer as well as a suitable antigen for targeted therapy studies in dogs.
de Andrés PJ, Illera JC, Cáceres S, et al. Increased levels of interleukins 8 and 10 as findings of canine inflammatory mammary cancer. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2013; 152(3-4):245-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inflammatory mammary cancer (IMC) is a distinct form of mammary cancer that affects dogs and women [in humans, IMC is known as inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)], and is characterized by a sudden onset and an aggressive clinical course. Spontaneous canine IMC shares epidemiologic, histopathological and clinical characteristics with the disease in humans and has been proposed as the best spontaneous animal model for studying IBC, although several aspects remain unstudied. Interleukins (ILs) play an important role in cancer as potential modulators of angiogenesis, leukocyte infiltration and tumor growth. The aims of the present study were to assess serum and tumor levels of several ILs (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10) by enzyme-immunoassay in dogs bearing benign and malignant mammary tumors, including dogs with IMC, for a better understanding of this disease. Forty-eight dogs were prospectively included. Animals consisted of 7 healthy Beagles used as donors for normal mammary glands (NMG) and serum controls (SCs), 10 dogs with hyperplasias and benign mammary tumors (HBMT), 24 with non-inflammatory malignant mammary tumors (non-IMC MMT) and 7 dogs with clinical and pathological IMC. IL-8 (serum) and IL-10 (serum and tissue homogenate) levels were higher in the dogs with IMC compared with the non-IMC MMT group. ILs were increased with tumor malignancy as follows: in tumor homogenates IL-6 levels were higher in malignant tumors (IMC and non-IMC MMT) versus HBMT and versus NMG and tumor IL-8 was increased in malignant tumors versus NMG; in serum, IL-1α and IL-8 levels were higher in the malignant groups respect to HBMT and SCs; interestingly, IL-10 was elevated only in the serum of IMC animals. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report that analyzes ILs in IMC and IL-10 in canine mammary tumors. Our results indicate a role for IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 in canine mammary malignancy and specific differences in ILs content in IMC versus non-IMC MMT that could have future diagnostic and therapeutic implications, to be confirmed in a larger series of IMC cases. These results help to support the validity of the IMC canine model for the study of human IBC and provide insight into this uncommon malignancy in dogs.
BACKGROUND: Osteosarcoma (OS) affects over 8000 dogs/year in the United States. The disease usually arises in the appendicular skeleton and metastasizes to the lung. Dogs with localized appendicular disease benefit from limb amputation and chemotherapy but most die within 6-12 months despite these treatments. Taurolidine, a derivative of taurine, has anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic effects against a variety of cancers. The following in vitro studies tested taurolidine as a candidate for adjuvant therapy for canine OS. Tests for p53 protein status and caspase activity were used to elucidate mechanisms of taurolidine-induced cell death. RESULTS: Taurolidine was cytotoxic to osteosarcoma cells and increased the toxicity of doxorubicin and carboplatin in vitro. Apoptosis was greatly induced in cells exposed to 125 μM taurolidine and less so in cells exposed to 250 μM taurolidine. Taurolidine cytotoxicity appeared caspase-dependent in one cell line; with apparent mutant p53 protein. This cell line was the most sensitive to single agent taurolidine treatment and had a taurolidine-dependent reduction in accumulated p53 protein suggesting taurolidine's effects may depend on the functional status of p53 in canine OS. CONCLUSION: Taurolidine's cytotoxic effect appears dependent on cell specific factors which may be explained, in part, by the functional status of p53. Taurolidine initiates apoptosis in canine OS cells and this occurs to a greater extent at lower concentrations. Mechanisms of cell death induced by higher concentrations were not elucidated here. Taurolidine combined with doxorubicin or carboplatin can increase the toxicity of these chemotherapy drugs and warrants further investigation in dogs with osteosarcoma.
Ziekman PG, Otter WD, Tan JF, et al. Intratumoural interleukin-2 therapy can induce regression of non-resectable mastocytoma in dogs. Anticancer Res. 2013; 33(1):161-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Mast cell tumours (MCT) are common skin tumours in dogs. If complete surgical removal of the tumours is not possible, then another therapy is needed. In the current study we tested the therapeutic effect of intratumoural injection of interleukin-2 (IL-2). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seven dogs had non-resectable cutaneous MCT. The tumours were injected with 4.5×10(6) IU IL-2. RESULTS: The early clinical effects in the seven dogs with cutaneous MCT were: complete regression (CR) in two dogs; partial regression (PR) in four, and stable disease (SD) in one dog. The final clinical effects were CR in three dogs, PR in two dogs, and PD in two dogs. CONCLUSION: This pilot study shows that intratumoural IL-2 application can exert an anti-MCT effect. A larger study would be required to precisely establish the magnitude of the therapeutic effect against MCT. A single application of IL-2 in cases of non-resectable MCT has no observable side-effects.
Denies S, Sanders NN Recent progress in canine tumor vaccination: potential applications for human tumor vaccines. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2012; 11(11):1375-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor vaccination holds great promise for the treatment of cancer and research concerning tumor vaccination in dogs is of great interest for veterinary as well as human medicine. Indeed, cancer is the leading cause of death in adult dogs and companion animals are acknowledged as excellent preclinical models for human oncology. The license of the veterinary melanoma vaccine (Oncept™) and Provenge® for the treatment of prostate cancer in men established tumor vaccination as a valid treatment modality for cancer. Although the results with this and other vaccines are promising, there are still some hurdles to overcome. In this article, preclinical and clinical trials with tumor vaccines in dogs are discussed, as well as the surplus value of canine cancer patients for human medicine.
Blackburn AL, Berent AC, Weisse CW, Brown DC Evaluation of outcome following urethral stent placement for the treatment of obstructive carcinoma of the urethra in dogs: 42 cases (2004-2008). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2013; 242(1):59-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the outcome following urethral stent placement for the palliative treatment of obstructive carcinoma of the urethra in dogs. DESIGN: Retrospective case series. ANIMALS: 42 dogs with obstructive carcinoma of the urethra. PROCEDURES: Medical records for dogs in which a self-expanding metallic stent (SEMS) was used for the treatment of obstructive carcinoma of the urethra were reviewed. Signalment, diagnostic findings, clinical signs before and after SEMS placement, and patient outcome were analyzed. Fluoroscopic images were evaluated to determine the effects of stent size, obstruction length, tumor length, and urethral length and width on the incidence of incontinence or stranguria. RESULTS: Resolution of urinary tract obstruction was achieved in 41 of 42 (97.6%) dogs. After SEMS placement, 6 of 23 male and 5 of 19 female dogs developed severe incontinence, and 1 of 23 male and 1 of 17 female dogs developed stranguria. Stent length, diameter, and location were not associated with incidence of incontinence or stranguria. Median survival time after SEMS placement was 78 days (range, 7 to 536 days). Treatment with NSAIDs before and chemotherapeutics after SEMS placement increased median survival time to 251 days (range, 8 to 536 days). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Urethral SEMS placement was an effective palliative treatment for dogs with obstructive carcinoma of the urethra; however, severe incontinence subsequently developed in 11 of 42 (26%) treated dogs. Adjunctive treatment of affected dogs with NSAIDs and chemotherapeutics significantly increased the median survival time.
Shaik J, Shaikh Mohammed J, McShane MJ, Mills DK In vitro evaluation of chondrosarcoma cells and canine chondrocytes on layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembled multilayer nanofilms. Biofabrication. 2013; 5(1):015004 [PubMed] Related Publications
Short-term cell-substrate interactions of two secondary chondrocyte cell lines (human chondrosarcoma cells, canine chondrocytes) with layer-by-layer self-assembled multilayer nanofilms were investigated for a better understanding of cellular-behaviour dependence on a number of nanofilm layers. Cell-substrate interactions were studied on polyelectrolyte multilayer nanofilms (PMNs) of eleven different biomaterials. Surface characterization of PMNs performed using AFM showed increasing surface roughness with increasing number of layers for most of the biomaterials. LDH-L and MTT assays were performed on chondrosarcoma cells and canine chondrocytes, respectively. A major observation was that 10-bilayer nanofilms exhibited lesser cytotoxicity towards human chondrosarcoma cells than their 5-bilayer counterparts. In the case of canine chondrocytes, BSA enhanced cell metabolic activity with increasing number of layers, underscoring the importance of the multilayer nanofilm architecture on cellular behaviour.
In humans, recombinant human thyrotropin (rhTSH) enhances radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU) in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer. No studies have been performed in veterinary medicine to optimize radioiodine treatment of thyroid cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of rhTSH on the uptake of radioiodine-123 ((123)I) in dogs with thyroid tumors. Nine dogs with thyroid neoplasia were included in this prospective cross-over study. The dogs were divided in 2 groups. In one group, (123)I was administered for a baseline RAIU determination in week 1. In week 2 (after a washout period of 2 weeks), these dogs received rhTSH (100 μg IV) 24 h before (123)I injection. In the other group the order of the protocol was reversed. For each scan, the dogs received 37 MBq (1 mCi) of (123)I intravenously (IV) and planar scintigraphy was performed after 8 and 24 h for tumor RAIU calculation. Overall, rhTSH administration caused no statistically significant change on thyroid tumor RAIU at 8 h (p = 0.89) or at 24 h (p = 0.98). A significant positive correlation was found between the effect of rhTSH on tumor 8h-RAIU and rhTSH serum concentrations at 6 h (τ = 0.68; p = 0.03), at 12 h (τ = 0.68; p = 0.03) and at 24 h (τ = 0.78; p = 0.02) after rhTSH injection. This study suggests that IV administration of 100 μg rhTSH 24 h before (123)I has an inconsistent effect on thyroid tumor RAIU. Further studies are necessary to determine the best protocol of rhTSH administration to optimize thyroid tumor RAIU.
Konietschke U, Teske E, Jurina K, Stockhaus C Palliative intralesional interleukin-2 treatment in dogs with urinary bladder and urethral carcinomas. In Vivo. 2012 Nov-Dec; 26(6):931-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The investigation of the influence of intralesional interleukin-2 (IL-2) on the clinical course and tumor progression in dogs suffering from urinary bladder and urethral carcinomas. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Medical records of 25 dogs diagnosed with advanced transitional cell carcinomas (TCC) were retrospectively reviewed. In 14 dogs, intralesional IL-2 treatment was performed by transabdominal ultrasound-guided injection. Seven dogs underwent cytoreductive surgery, followed by IL-2 injection into the tumor bed. All dogs received long-term non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. RESULTS: Adverse effects associated with IL-2 treatment were not observed. At re-examination, 17 dogs showed marked clinical improvement and regression of tumor size. Four dogs were in complete remission. CONCLUSION: Intralesional IL-2 application is a safe and minimally-invasive palliative treatment option in dogs suffering from advanced transitional cell carcinoma when surgical cure is impossible. Prognosis depends on tumor localization and feasibility of concomitant cytoreductive surgery.
Angstadt AY, Thayanithy V, Subramanian S, et al. A genome-wide approach to comparative oncology: high-resolution oligonucleotide aCGH of canine and human osteosarcoma pinpoints shared microaberrations. Cancer Genet. 2012; 205(11):572-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
Molecular cytogenetic evaluation of human osteosarcoma (OS) has revealed the characteristically high degree of genomic reorganization that is the hallmark of this cancer. The extent of genomic disorder in OS has hindered identification of the genomic aberrations driving disease progression. With pathophysiological similarities to its human counterpart, canine OS represents an ideal model for comparison of conserved regions of genomic instability that may be disease-associated rather than genomic passengers. This study used high-resolution oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization and a variety of informatics tools to aid in the identification of disease-associated genome-wide DNA copy number aberrations in canine and human OS. Our findings support and build upon the high level of cytogenetic complexity, through the identification of shared regions of microaberration (<500 kb) and functional analysis of possible orthologous OS-associated genes to pinpoint the cellular processes most commonly affected by aberration in human and canine OS. Aberrant regions contained previously reported genes such as CDC5L, MYC, RUNX2, and CDKN2A/CDKN2B, while expanding the gene of interest list to include ADAM15, CTC1, MEN1, CDK7, and others. Such regions of instability may thus have functional significance in the etiology of OS, the most common primary bone tumor in both species.
Virotherapy using oncolytic vaccinia virus (VACV) strains is one promising new strategy for cancer therapy. We have previously reported that oncolytic vaccinia virus strains expressing an anti-VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) single-chain antibody (scAb) GLAF-1 exhibited significant therapeutic efficacy for treatment of human tumor xenografts. Here, we describe the use of oncolytic vaccinia virus GLV-1h109 encoding GLAF-1 for canine cancer therapy. In this study we analyzed the virus-mediated delivery and production of scAb GLAF-1 and the oncolytic and immunological effects of the GLV-1h109 vaccinia virus strain against canine soft tissue sarcoma and canine prostate carcinoma in xenograft models. Cell culture data demonstrated that the GLV-1h109 virus efficiently infect, replicate in and destroy both tested canine cancer cell lines. In addition, successful expression of GLAF-1 was demonstrated in virus-infected canine cancer cells and the antibody specifically recognized canine VEGF. In two different xenograft models, the systemic administration of the GLV-1h109 virus was found to be safe and led to anti-tumor and immunological effects resulting in the significant reduction of tumor growth in comparison to untreated control mice. Furthermore, tumor-specific virus infection led to a continued production of functional scAb GLAF-1, resulting in inhibition of angiogenesis. Overall, the GLV-1h109-mediated cancer therapy and production of immunotherapeutic anti-VEGF scAb may open the way for combination therapy concept i.e. vaccinia virus mediated oncolysis and intratumoral production of therapeutic drugs in canine cancer patients.
Finocchiaro LM, Glikin GC Cytokine-enhanced vaccine and suicide gene therapy as surgery adjuvant treatments for spontaneous canine melanoma: 9 years of follow-up. Cancer Gene Ther. 2012; 19(12):852-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
We present here the updated results after 9 years of the beginning of a trial on canine patients with malignant melanoma. This surgery adjuvant approach combined local suicide gene therapy with a subcutaneous vaccine composed by tumor cells extracts and xenogeneic cells producing human interleukin-2 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Toxicity was absent or minimal in all patients (0≤VCOG-CTCAE grade≤1). With respect to surgery-treated controls (ST), the complete surgery (CS) arm of this combined treatment (CT) significantly increased the fraction of local disease-free patients from 13 to 81% and distant metastases free from 32 to 84%. Even though less effective than the CS arm, the partial surgery (PS) arm of this CT was significantly better controlling the disease than only surgery (14% while PS-ST: 0%, P<0.01 and CS-ST: 5%, P<0.05). In addition, CT produced a significant sevenfold (CS) and threefold (PS) increase in overall survival. The CS-CT arm significantly improved both CS-ST metastasis-free- and melanoma overall survival from 99 days (respective ranges: 11-563 and 10-568) to >2848 days (81-2848 and 35-2848). Thus, more of 50% of our CT patients died of melanoma unrelated causes, transforming a lethal disease into a chronic one. Finally, surgery adjuvant CT delayed or prevented post-surgical recurrence and distant metastasis, significantly improved disease-free and overall survival maintaining the quality of life. Long-term safety and efficacy of this treatment are supported by the high number of CT patients (283) and extensive follow-up (>9 years). The successful clinical outcome encourages the further translation of similar approaches to human gene therapy trials.
Zhang J, Wei S, Liu L, et al. NMR-based metabolomics study of canine bladder cancer. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012; 1822(11):1807-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bladder cancer is one of the leading lethal cancers worldwide. With the high risk of recurrence for bladder cancer following the initial diagnoses, lifelong monitoring of patients is necessary. The lack of adequate sensitivity and specificity of current noninvasive monitoring approaches including urine cytology, other urine tests, and imaging, underlines the importance of studies that focus on the detection of more reliable biomarkers for this cancer. The emerging area of metabolomics, which deals with the analysis of a large number of small molecules in a single step, promises immense potential for discovering metabolite markers for screening and monitoring treatment response and recurrence in patients with bladder cancer. Since naturally-occurring canine transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder is very similar to human invasive bladder cancer, spontaneous canine transitional cell carcinoma has been applied as a relevant animal model of human invasive transitional cell carcinoma. In this study, we have focused on profiling the metabolites in urine from dogs with transitional cell carcinoma and healthy control dogs combining nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and statistical analysis methods. (1)H NMR-based metabolite profiling analysis was shown to be an effective approach for differentiating samples from dogs with transitional cell carcinoma and healthy controls based on a partial least square-discriminant analysis of the NMR spectra. In addition, there were significant differences in the levels of six individual metabolites between samples from dogs with transitional cell carcinoma and the control group based on the Student's t-test. These metabolites were selected to build a separate partial least square-discriminant analysis model that was then used to test the classification accuracy. The result showed good classification between transitional cell carcinoma and control groups with the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.85. The sensitivity and specificity of the model were 86% and 78%, respectively. These results suggest that urine metabolic profiling may have potential for early detection of bladder cancer and of bladder cancer recurrence following treatment, and may enhance our understanding of the mechanisms involved.
Harmon J, Yoshikawa H, Custis J, Larue S Evaluation of canine prostate intrafractional motion using serial cone beam computed tomography imaging. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2013 Jan-Feb; 54(1):93-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study used kilovoltage (kV) cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging to characterize canine intrafractional prostate motion during hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy treatment. Serial CBCT images taken just prior to initiating treatment, and at several times during the treatment session, were acquired throughout the course of treatment for canine patients. All patients were immobilized in dorsal recumbency while using an air-inflated rectal balloon. For each treatment session, rigid registration of intrafraction CBCT images with the interfraction CBCT used for setup verification was performed. Contours of the prostate and urethra were drawn on each CBCT image set and the center of mass for each structure was evaluated as a function of time. A total of seven canine patients was included in the study, resulting in 41 CBCT images collected during a total of 12 treatment sessions. Over 70% of our data were collected for CBCTs taken between 20 and 51 min after final patient setup was complete. The mean intrafraction movement in a single direction for the prostate and urethra was ≤0.14 mm and ≤0.22 mm, respectively. The maximum intrafraction movement for the prostate and urethra was ≤ 1.60 mm and ≤ 2.00 mm, respectively. The maximum variability in intrafraction movement for the prostate and urethra, as defined by two standard deviations, was ≤1.40 mm and ≤1.50 mm, respectively. Minimal intrafraction variability using appropriate patient positioning and rectal balloon, combined with kV CBCT image-guided radiation therapy tools to account for interfraction changes, permit accurate and precise targeting of structures of interest.
Downregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) at the 14q32 locus stabilizes the expression of cMYC, thus significantly contributing to osteosarcoma (OS) pathobiology. Here, we show that downregulation of 14q32 miRNAs is epigenetically regulated. The predicted promoter regions of miRNA clusters at 14q32 locus showed no recurrent patterns of differential methylation, but Saos2 cells showed elevated histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity. Treatment with 4-phenylbutyrate increased acetylation of histones associated with 14q32 miRNAs, but interestingly, robust restoration of 14q32 miRNA expression, attenuation of cMYC expression, and induction of apoptosis required concomitant treatment with 5-Azacytidine, an inhibitor of DNA methylation. These events were associated with genome-wide gene expression changes including induction of pro-apoptotic genes and downregulation of cell cycle genes. Comparable effects were achieved in human and canine OS cells using the HDAC inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA/Vorinostat) and the DNA methylation inhibitor Zebularine (Zeb), with significantly more pronounced cytotoxicity in cells whose molecular phenotypes were indicative of aggressive biological behavior. These results suggested that the combination of these chromatin-modifying drugs may be a useful adjuvant in the treatment of rapidly progressive OS.
Canine osteosarcoma (OSA) is known to present with highly variable and chaotic karyotypes, including hypodiploidy, hyperdiploidy, and increased numbers of metacentric chromosomes. The spectrum of genomic instabilities in canine OSA has significantly augmented the difficulty in clearly defining the biological and clinical significance of the observed cytogenetic abnormalities. In this study, eight canine OSA cell lines were used to investigate telomere fusions by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using a peptide nucleotide acid probe. We characterized each cell line by classical cytogenetic studies and cellular phenotypes including telomere associated factors and then evaluated correlations from this data. All eight canine OSA cell lines displayed increased abnormal metacentric chromosomes and exhibited numerous telomere fusions and interstitial telomeric signals. Also, as evidence of unstable telomeres, colocalization of γ-H2AX and telomere signals in interphase cells was observed. Each cell line was characterized by a combination of data representing cellular doubling time, DNA content, chromosome number, metacentric chromosome frequency, telomere signal level, cellular radiosensitivity, and DNA-PKcs protein expression level. We have also studied primary cultures from 10 spontaneous canine OSAs. Based on the observation of telomere aberrations in those primary cell cultures, we are reasonably certain that our observations in cell lines are not an artifact of prolonged culture. A correlation between telomere fusions and the other characteristics analyzed in our study could not be identified. However, it is important to note that all of the canine OSA samples exhibiting telomere fusion utilized in our study were telomerase positive. Pending further research regarding telomerase negative canine OSA cell lines, our findings may suggest telomere fusions can potentially serve as a novel marker for canine OSA.
Chon E, Thompson V, Schmid S, Stein TJ Activation of the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway is rare in canine malignant melanoma tissue and cell lines. J Comp Pathol. 2013; 148(2-3):178-87 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2014 Related Publications
Canine malignant melanoma is a highly aggressive tumour associated with a poor overall survival rate due to both local disease recurrence and its highly metastatic nature. Similar to advanced melanoma in man, canine oral melanoma is poorly responsive to conventional anti-cancer therapies. The lack of sustainable disease control warrants investigation of novel therapies, preferably targeting features specific to the tumour and different from normal cells. The Wnt signalling pathway is known to contribute to melanocytic lineage development in vertebrates and perturbation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway has been implicated in numerous cancer types. Alterations of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway are suggested to occur in a subset of human melanomas, although the precise role of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in melanoma is yet to be defined. This study investigates the activation status of the canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway in canine malignant melanoma and its potential as a therapeutic target for treating this disease. The data indicate that canonical Wnt/β-catenin pathway activation is a rare event in canine oral malignant melanoma tissue and canine malignant melanoma cell lines.
Urbasic AS, Hynes S, Somrak A, et al. Oncolysis of canine tumor cells by myxoma virus lacking the serp2 gene. Am J Vet Res. 2012; 73(8):1252-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To determine the oncolytic efficacy of an attenuated form of myxoma virus lacking the serp2 gene in canine tumor cells. SAMPLE: Primary cells were isolated from tumors that were surgically removed from dogs and from connective tissue obtained from the cadaver of a dog. Cells of various established cell lines from tumors and nontumorous tissues were obtained. PROCEDURES: Experiments were performed with cells in monolayer culture. Cell cultures were inoculated with wild-type myxoma viruses or myxoma viruses lacking the serp2 gene, and measures of cytopathic effects, viral growth kinetics, and cell death and apoptosis were determined. RESULTS: Myxoma viruses replicated in cells of many of the primary and established canine tumor cell lines. Canine tumor cells in which expression of activated protein kinase B was upregulated were more permissive to myxoma virus infection than were cells in which expression of activated protein kinase B was not upregulated. Myxoma viruses lacking the serp2 gene caused more cytopathic effects in canine tumor cells because of apoptosis than did wild-type myxoma viruses. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results of the present study indicated myxoma viruses lacking the serp2 gene may be useful for treatment of cancer in dogs. Impact for Human Medicine-Results of the present study may be useful for development of novel oncolytic treatments for tumors in humans.
Lutful Kabir FM, Agarwal P, Deinnocentes P, et al. Novel frameshift mutation in the p16/INK4A tumor suppressor gene in canine breast cancer alters expression from the p16/INK4A/p14ARF locus. J Cell Biochem. 2013; 114(1):56-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
The INK4 family of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CKI) encode important cell cycle regulators that tightly control cell cycle during G1 to S phase. These related genes are considered tumor suppressors as loss of function contributes to the malignant phenotype. Expression of CKIs p16, p14ARF, or p15 were defective in six different canine mammary tumor (CMT) cell lines compared to normal thoracic canine fibroblasts. This suggests CKI defects are frequently responsible for neoplastic transformation in canine mammary carcinomas. p16 and p14ARF are two alternatively spliced products derived from the canine p16/INK4A/p14ARF gene locus. Despite omissions in the published p16 transcript and canine genome and the presence of GC-rich repeats, we determined the complete coding sequence of canine p16 revealing a deletion and frameshift mutation in p16 exon 1α in CMT28 cells. In addition, we determined canine p14ARF mRNA and protein sequences. Mapping of these mutations uncovered important aspects of p16 and p14ARF expression and defects in CMT28 cells shifting the p16 reading frame into p14ARF making a fusion protein that was predicted to be truncated, unstable and devoid of structural and functional integrity. This data describes an important neoplastic mechanism in the p16/INK4A/p14ARF locus in a spontaneous canine model of breast cancer.
Sakurai A, Matsuda M, Kiyokawa E Activated Ras protein accelerates cell cycle progression to perturb Madin-Darby canine kidney cystogenesis. J Biol Chem. 2012; 287(38):31703-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2014 Related Publications
In a number of human cancer cells, K-RAS is frequently mutated and activated constitutively, culminating in the induction of continuous cell growth, a hallmark of cancer cells. It is still unclear, however, how the mutated K-RAS induces morphological abnormalities in cancerous tissues. To investigate the mechanism underlying the K-RAS-induced morphological changes, we utilized an auxin-dependent protein expression system, which enabled us to rapidly induce and evaluate constitutively active K-Ras in MDCK (Madin-Darby canine kidney) cysts, a model for polarized epithelial structure. Cells carrying the constitutively active KRasV12 gene were morphologically indistinguishable from normal cells in two-dimensional culture. However, in a gel of extracellular matrix, KRasV12-expressing cells failed to form a spherical cyst. When KRasV12 induction was delayed until after cyst formation, some cells in the cyst wall lost polarity and were extruded into and accumulated in the luminal space. With effector-specific mutants of KRasV12 and inhibitors for MEK and PI3-kinase, we found that both the Raf-MEK-ERK and PI3-kinase axes are necessary and sufficient for this phenotype. Live cell imaging with cell cycle indicators showed that KRasV12 expression promoted cell cycle progression, which was prevented by either MEK or PI3-kinase inhibitors. From these results, we provide a model wherein active-Ras induces cell cycle progression leading to apical cell extrusion through Raf and PI3-kinase in a cooperative manner. The system developed here can be applied to drug screening for various cancers originating from epithelial cells.
Lombardini ED, Summers BA Two canine malignant vascular tumours with features of human retiform haemangioendothelioma. J Comp Pathol. 2013; 148(2-3):225-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Within the human medical literature, retiform haemangioendothelioma (RHE) is an established and well-recognized histopathological variant of endothelial tumours, but to date RHE has not been reported in animals. These tumours are characterized by the presence of elongate, arborizing vascular channels lined by neoplastic endothelium with prominent, often bulging ('hobnail') nuclei supported by a dense collagenous matrix and accompanied by abundant lymphoplasmacytic inflammation. Immunohistochemically, the neoplastic cells typically express endothelial markers such as von Willebrand factor and CD31. Human RHEs are categorized as low-grade malignancies. This report describes two canine vascular tumours with features consistent with RHE. In both cases there was suspected or known widespread tumour metastasis.
Nande R, Di Benedetto A, Aimola P, et al. Targeting a newly established spontaneous feline fibrosarcoma cell line by gene transfer. PLoS One. 2012; 7(5):e37743 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2014 Related Publications
Fibrosarcoma is a deadly disease in cats and is significantly more often located at classical vaccine injections sites. More rare forms of spontaneous non-vaccination site (NSV) fibrosarcomas have been described and have been found associated to genetic alterations. Purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of adenoviral gene transfer in NVS fibrosarcoma. We isolated and characterized a NVS fibrosarcoma cell line (Cocca-6A) from a spontaneous fibrosarcoma that occurred in a domestic calico cat. The feline cells were karyotyped and their chromosome number was counted using a Giemsa staining. Adenoviral gene transfer was verified by western blot analysis. Flow cytometry assay and Annexin-V were used to study cell-cycle changes and cell death of transduced cells. Cocca-6A fibrosarcoma cells were morphologically and cytogenetically characterized. Giemsa block staining of metaphase spreads of the Cocca-6A cells showed deletion of one of the E1 chromosomes, where feline p53 maps. Semi-quantitative PCR demonstrated reduction of p53 genomic DNA in the Cocca-6A cells. Adenoviral gene transfer determined a remarkable effect on the viability and growth of the Cocca-6A cells following single transduction with adenoviruses carrying Mda-7/IL-24 or IFN-γ or various combination of RB/p105, Ras-DN, IFN-γ, and Mda-7 gene transfer. Therapy for feline fibrosarcomas is often insufficient for long lasting tumor eradication. More gene transfer studies should be conducted in order to understand if these viral vectors could be applicable regardless the origin (spontaneous vs. vaccine induced) of feline fibrosarcomas.
Chen YT, Tan KA, Pang LY, Argyle DJ The class I PI3K/Akt pathway is critical for cancer cell survival in dogs and offers an opportunity for therapeutic intervention. BMC Vet Res. 2012; 8:73 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2014 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Using novel small-molecular inhibitors, we explored the feasibility of the class I PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 signaling pathway as a therapeutic target in canine oncology either by using pathway inhibitors alone, in combination or combined with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs in vitro. RESULTS: We demonstrate that growth and survival of the cell lines tested are predominantly dependent on class I PI3K/Akt signaling rather than mTORC1 signaling. In addition, the newly developed inhibitors ZSTK474 and KP372-1 which selectively target pan-class I PI3K and Akt, respectively, and Rapamycin which has been well-established as highly specific mTOR inhibitor, decrease viability of canine cancer cell lines. All inhibitors demonstrated inhibition of phosphorylation of pathway members. Annexin V staining demonstrated that KP372-1 is a potent inducer of apoptosis whereas ZSTK474 and Rapamycin are weaker inducers of apoptosis. Simultaneous inhibition of class I PI3K and mTORC1 by ZSTK474 combined with Rapamycin additively or synergistically reduced cell viability whereas responses to the PI3K pathway inhibitors in combination with conventional drug Doxorubicin were cell line-dependent. CONCLUSION: This study highlighted the importance of class I PI3K/Akt axis signaling in canine tumour cells and identifies it as a promising therapeutic target.
Shearin AL, Hedan B, Cadieu E, et al. The MTAP-CDKN2A locus confers susceptibility to a naturally occurring canine cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012; 21(7):1019-27 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2014 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Advantages offered by canine population substructure, combined with clinical presentations similar to human disorders, makes the dog an attractive system for studies of cancer genetics. Cancers that have been difficult to study in human families or populations are of particular interest. Histiocytic sarcoma is a rare and poorly understood neoplasm in humans that occurs in 15% to 25% of Bernese Mountain Dogs (BMD). METHODS: Genomic DNA was collected from affected and unaffected BMD in North America and Europe. Both independent and combined genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were used to identify cancer-associated loci. Fine mapping and sequencing narrowed the primary locus to a single gene region. RESULTS: Both populations shared the same primary locus, which features a single haplotype spanning MTAP and part of CDKN2A and is present in 96% of affected BMD. The haplotype is within the region homologous to human chromosome 9p21, which has been implicated in several types of cancer. CONCLUSIONS: We present the first GWAS for histiocytic sarcoma in any species. The data identify an associated haplotype in the highly cited tumor suppressor locus near CDKN2A. These data show the power of studying distinctive malignancies in highly predisposed dog breeds. IMPACT: Here, we establish a naturally occurring model of cancer susceptibility due to CDKN2 dysregulation, thus providing insight about this cancer-associated, complex, and poorly understood genomic region.